András Gedö et al on Lukács (1957)

Fogarasi spelled out the party’s position on Lukács, “We waited and waited after 1956 for Lukács to acknowledge his errors. We hoped that such a venerable member of' the party and Marxism would recognize them. Many members of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences were able to admit their own mistakes. But Lukács retained his views on the 1956 revolution.”

At the same time, the party ideologue András Gedö disclosed the secret that, “Anti-Stalinism gained momentum and depth because Lukács endowed it with scholarly prestige. He introduced the concept arid injected it into the intellectual ferment. Lukács was the first to define Stalinism as a system and method.” [12] In early 1932 in a letter to Alberto Carocci, who married Éva Vedres, a second generation descendant of the Pollacsek family, Lukács wrote, “It is stupid to define and confine a world-historical epoch in terms of a single person. The apparat created and set in motion Stalinism. Like an inverted pyramid, Stalinism had a wide base that rested on small Stalins.” [13] While supporting the rehabilitation of Stalin’s victims, Lukács denied it to Trotsky and his followers, saying that Stalin had “de facto” carried out Trotsky’s policies. “Trotsky was right,” wrote Lukács, “to accuse Stalin of appropriating his policies.” In his letter to Carocci, Lukacs added prophetically, “Only the Russians can analyze and expose fully Stalinism.” He foresaw a long and difficult “transition to real, democratic socialism” because Stalinism was the “paradise of mediocrities and opportunists.”


12   András Gedö, “A jelenkori osztályharc néhány elméleti problémŕjŕhoz,” Partélet (November 1957), p. 44. Kolakowski sees it differently: “In the late 1950s, when the political and ideological ferment in Eastern Europe was at its height, Lukács was one of the most timid and cautious critics of Stalinism, never questioning its basic principles but only certain manifestations,” Main Currents of Marxism, vol. 3, pp. 302-3.

13   Lukács to Alberto Carocci, 3 February 1962, LAK.

SOURCE: Kadarkay, Arpad. Georg Lukács: Life, Thought, and Politics (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1991), p. 444, 514.

Note: “A jelenkori osztályharc néhány elméleti problémŕjŕhoz” = “Some of the theoretical problems of contemporary class struggle.”

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